The Oklahoma City Thunder were supposed to tank and rebuild this season; they just didn’t happen to tell their players that.
The team balled out and looked way ahead of schedule for the better part of the campaign, and they capped that impressive year off by almost clinching a playoff berth.
The Thunder rallied past the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-in Tournament, and now they’ll have one chance to get the eighth seed if they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But even if they don’t, this season has already been a massive success for Mike Daigneault and Sam Presti.
To make things even better for the fans, the Thunder currently own a plethora of draft picks, leading the league in that regard by a very long stretch.
As of now, the OKC Thunder own two first-round picks in 2023, four in 2024, four in 2025, three in 2026, and two in 2027.
OKC still has more ammo to add to its fantastic young core 🤯 pic.twitter.com/XRKzCQzEmO
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 13, 2023
That’s not even counting second-round picks or pick-swaps.
Needless to say, the fans were more than impressed with this draft arsenal, praising the GM for this asset management.
Sam Presti gotta be one of the best GMS ever.
— LOTTO PICK (@SanestHeatFan) April 13, 2023
Pack your bags, you’re moving to Oklahoma!
— The Owl (@TheOwl_NFL) April 13, 2023
OKC GM looking at those minors pic.twitter.com/EBGxrRHmKp
— DudeNameJay🏜 (@DudeNameJay) April 13, 2023
Sam Presti plays GM Mode on Easy
— austin (@austin_hurwitz) April 13, 2023
This team is going to win ChampionSHIPS.
— JD Sharp (@imjdsharp) April 13, 2023
Media: You can't be a playoff team hoarding all those picks
Sam Presti: pic.twitter.com/vZOqi66Kt5
— Peedi (@PeediPaulo) April 13, 2023
The Thunder made the most of flipping their stars; they got elite value in return and have been competitive way sooner than expected.
They’ll get second-overall pick Chet Holmgren on the floor next season, and they could either flip those first-round picks for a bonafide star or try and gather more talent.
The Thunder have a younger starting lineup than most NCAA basketball teams, and they’ll keep on bringing in even more stud prospects, so they’ll be very good for a very long time.NEXT: Thunder Star Just Broke A Michael Jordan Record